2013/12: Should asylum seekers attempting to come to Australia by boat be permanently settled in Papua New Guinea?
Introduction to the media issueVideo clip at right:
On July 19, 2013, Channel 7 News carried a news report in which the Prime Ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea, Kevin Rudd and Peter O’Neill, announced that asylum seekers seeking to come to Australia by boat would be processed and, if necessary settled, in Papua New Guinea. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.
What they said...
'As of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia'
Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in an announcement made on July 19, 2013
'We're going to pay our most impoverished neighbour to take this problem away from us and get it out of sight out of mind'
Leader of the Greens, Christine Milne, commenting on the newly announced policy
The issue at a glance
On Friday, July 19, Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that any asylum seeker coming to Australia by boat would never be permitted into this country. Such asylum seekers will be transferred to Papua New Guinea to have their refugee claims processed and if successful will be able to remain in Papua New Guinea. They will never be allowed to settle in Australia.
The new policy has meet with a mixed reaction. Some commentators have suggested that it may succeed in preventing asylum seekers risking their lives at sea. Others have seen it as a cynical political ploy that offloads Australia's humanitarian responsibilities onto an impoverished neighbour state. Others have questioned whether the scheme will be practicable and whether it will succeed in reducing the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat.